A lot has changed since I played softball in the Olympics, but in some ways, nothing has changed at all.

The exact work ethic that got me to the Olympics is the exact one that enabled me to start up many different business ventures and even become the mom of the internet-notorious One Up Max! The point is…being able to achieve what I had dreamt of gave me the fire in my belly to go after other dreams.

5 Ways Becoming an Olympic Athlete Prepared Me To Succeed in Entrepreneurship

1. Reaching a goal requires your undivided attention and commitment. Becoming an athlete at that level takes hard work and dedication, focus, goal orientation, performing under pressure and being able to learn from your mistakes/losses. If you consider these elements of success as integral to reaching what you set out to do, then the only difference is the goal that you outlined for yourself. This is similar to following a work ethic, but making a commitment to yourself goes deeper. You are promising and issuing a pledge that you will see to the end what is important to you and not because of drive, but because to not do it would hurt and disappoint you. Your commitment is a form of self-care. Following through demonstrates that you care about proving you can accomplish what you target.

2. Failure is not the end, but just another learning experience. Have you ever heard the term: “Fail forward”? It’s true. Failing is how we learn. We are not born with the strength of skills we need to succeed in any arena. We might have aptitudes that are meant to be honed and improved, but no one is born ready to hit a series of home runs. When you fail, you learn what doesn’t work and that is invaluable information especially when you are striving to meet a personal goal that carries a lot of meaning. Just as it is in the sports world, so too is the business world the same. You can arrive into the first days of your business so full of motivation and big plans, but you have to prepare yourself to fail because to fail is to learn. And there will be lots of learning as you go.

3. Work ethic is the most important principle to practice. It should probably be moved to number one on this list! Yes, you need the talent to earn a spot in the top ranks of whatever undertaking you are practicing for, but without hard work, you won’t reach your goals. Every day, you have to show up and practice. You have to show up and miss the shot, flub the catch, get tagged out. You have to show up and nail it, too. Over and over and over again, so you find the sweet spot of success. You need a system to follow, too. When you get started, you may need to adjust the system, but remember a system is a must-have so your work and tasks will run smoothly.

4. Repetition is not organization.  And rote repetition is not deliberate practice. Deliberate practice involves attention, practice, working out, and repetition. This leads to skills that can be developed into more complex skills. They say it takes about 10,000 hours to master a skill if you’re practicing properly. You are trying to develop muscle memory, memories stored in your brain, or the ability to perform a skill without any conscious effort. So, you need to tap into those skills and execute them without thought so your brain can analyze other scenarios going on around you. You must be in this mindset and exercise your strategic response to every decision until your practice turns into instinct.

5. Visualization is also a vital skill to speed up any learning process. When we visualize, we believe in ourselves. We tell ourselves that we know we can take the actions needed to attain the image in our mind. Some people may think that visualization is a waste of time and they might wonder about how in the world it could be effective, but visualization is the first step on the path to reach your goal. If you can’t even see yourself being successful personally and/or professionally, you will not have the understanding and respect for the tasks that you will need to complete to get there. Visualization is a strategy that is widely used in sports and should be used more often in business. “See it, then be it.” Remember this phrase to help you stay connected to your goals and it will give you an immense boost forward.

Follow these five tactics and then go out and DO IT! I know you can 🙂
All my love and belief,